An ancient art form popular among the Madiga sect of Telangana is Chindu Bhagavatham, performed in temples and other religious festivals. Chindu means Jumping in Telugu, so is the name for the art as the performers narrate stories leaping and jumping on the stage, a unique form of expressions. Moreover, the style is said to be a variant of Karnataka’s Yakshaganam.
Chindu Baghavatham is all about narrating the historic events about Lord Vishnu and His manifestation as Lord Krishna. Baghavatham takes his devotees close to the conscience of Lord Vishnu, a popular event conducted in almost all religious events across South India.
The ancient art is being nurtured across generations and it is interesting to know that there are more than 800 troops in Telangana performing this art at various places. Earlier Chindu Bhagavatham was restricted to the Madiga sect of people alone, but over the years the art form has won the hearts of many people and has become very popular beyond its territories.
Makeup, music, story of Sri Bhagavatham, agile male performers and a floor is all required for a Chindu Bhagavatham to be staged. It can be very commonly seen that the artistes complete their make up even in open places and a shade under a tree is enough for them to commence their performance.
The troops don’t perform during monsoon seasons and earn their livelihood with other seasonal jobs. It is heartening to note that, the Government of Telangana has started popularizing this art form and using the troops for campaigns of issues in public interest like health awareness, AIDS awareness, vaccinations, hygiene practices and lot more. The artiste skilfully incorporate the themes while narrating the stories to onlookers.
As the artistes are properly supported by the Government for their basic needs, attires and accessories, it is true that this ancient art form practiced since 2nd century will be passed through generations, an act to preserve heritage, culture and tradition. Don’t miss a chance to watch Chindu Bhagavatham while touring in Telangana.